Jacob Rees-Mogg, Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, had ambitions of becoming a miser – a person who hoards great wealth – at just four years old. Insight into the young MP for North East Somerset’s life as a boy has emerged in an unearthed video. Not only did he buy shares, but he also wrote letters to Margaret Thatcher as he tells a programme that she is “the best Prime Minister of this century”. As a boy, Rees-Mogg read the Financial Times and hoped to become a millionaire before venturing into politics.
The unearthed video, made in September 1982 when Mrs Thatcher was in power, shows a 12-year-old Rees-Mogg dressed in a blazer, shirt, and tie while wearing a “Love Maggie” badge as he is chauffeured around London in a Rolls Royce.
That year, Mr Rees-Mogg had a total of eight bank accounts: two with Barclays, two with Lloyds, one with NatWest, one with Midland Bank, one with Harrods, and one with the Post Office.
Mr Rees-Mogg is clearly anything but your typical tweenager. The video begins with the politician making a phone call, enquiring about his General Electric Company (GEC) shares and how the company compares to other electrical companies. The now-defunct GEC was a major British industrial company involved in electronics, communications, and engineering, set up in 1886.
Mr Rees-Mogg is told that GEC is “looking stable” before he then asks why they have got “such large cash reserves” which is then explained to him. He then responds “yah, I see” before asking to buy 100 shares.
He clearly had great admiration for GEC as he hoped to be its managing director at 30 years old. And by the time he is 70, the young Rees-Mogg had dreams of becoming Prime Minister because, by that time, he would have acquired his millions “or billions”, enabling him to devote his full attention to politics.
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The voice of the entrepreneurial young boy is then heard, penning a letter to Mrs Thatcher, asking whether she thinks it is a “disgrace” that the Greater London Council – an administrative body that operated from 1965 to 1986 – is wasting money on political statements in the press.
He is seen sitting in a grand room at the end of a long table, diligently tapping away at a typewriter, as he explains to the former Conservative leader that he is referring to an advert he saw in the Evening Standard earlier that year.
He continues: “Do you not also believe that the law should be changed to stop this scandalous squandering of ratepayers as these instances are occurring? Yours faithfully, Jacob Rees-Mogg.” He then sits himself down in an armchair, briefly shutting his eyes after putting the world to rights.
From the back of his father’s car, he explains that he has always loved money because you need it and “with money you can make more money”, adding that you cannot do anything without it. He adds: “I could buy this Rolls Royce – lovely.”
It emerges that Mr Rees-Mogg first wrote a will at the tender age of nine, which he had, by the time he was 12, rewritten three times.
At just seven years old, Mr Rees-Mogg inherited £50 – about £260 today – from a distant cousin which his father, former editor of the Times William Rees-Mogg, invested in GEC for him. This then sparked his interest as he wanted to know “what his money was doing”, he explains to the interviewer.
Then two years later, his father buys him more shares for his birthday and he has consequently continued buying shares at “regular intervals” since then. According to his father, the 12-year-old could handle money better than those in their twenties, in fact, better than “most people ever”.
During the 10-minute-long video, Mr Rees-Mogg is seen taking calls in the car to buy shares, depositing money into one of his eight accounts, and sitting at the breakfast table with his father reading the newspaper, discussing the “absolutely disgraceful” by-election results (the Tory had not won).
The diligent young Rees-Mogg was clearly clued up on his political views which have not wavered since, telling his father that he does not approve of the Scottish Nationalists, neither the Labour Party nor the Social Democrats – nobody but the Conservatives.
He then tells the interviewer that he has no intention of marrying as he wished then to remain a bachelor, quite the opposite of his current situation, as the 53-year-old now has six children with his writer wife, Helena de Chair.
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The reason he wished to remain single, he explained, was he did not want to risk getting divorced and have his wife run away with all his money “which seems to happen so often nowadays”.
When asked what makes him happy, Mr Rees Mogg said: “Money makes me happy, if my shares are doing well, then I’m very happy. But if they’re not doing well, then I’m not so happy.”
After attending Eton, Mr Rees-Mogg read history at Oxford before working for the J Rothschild Investment Management and later Lloyd George Management. He then became an MP in 2010.
It appears Rees-Mogg met his ambitions of a 12-year-old in some ways: Spear’s Wealth Management revealed his net worth was over £100million in 2019.
The video, entitled “Funny Children” was made for French television with Rees-Mogg being described as a “trader and fan of Thatcher”.
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